Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Battle Farm Survey

Sunday 26 February 2012
 332 birds of 31 species - of interest 3 Lapwings and 11 Redwings. Only 1 Yellowhammer, no Long-tailed Tits, Sparrows or warblers.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Rain please!

Saturday 25th february 2012

The Watercress Beds are in a dire situation and it is difficult to see the springs returning before June or July. We are pumping a limited quantity of water (up to 20 cubic metres per day allowed without an abstraction license) from a well but it would not surprise me if even this was to run dry soon.

 A couple of Greenfinches and, elsewhere, a chaffinch, found a puddle to bathe in. At least 2 Water Rails still finding enough food to survive on.

Meanwhile a pair of Blackcaps have recently discovered the source of food available in my garden and are stoking up on sunflower hearts and apple.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Who pinched the Wigeon?

Sunday 12 February 2012
When I set off for Dorchester to do my WeBS count this morning I thought "this will not take long - all the water will be frozen".  Unfortunately each of the 7 lakes had a patch of open water and the birds were so concentrated they were standing on top of one another - not easy counting!  Odd how cold weather affects numbers of different species.  Only 51 Wigeon in spite of 1000 being reported yesterday on the Allen Pit. On the other hand over 100 Gadwall and just under that number of Shoveler. Also quite good numbers (88)  of Teal - at least for Dorchester.  Unfortunately the Smew reported yesterday failed to put in an appearance.

Friday, 10 February 2012


Friday 10 February 2012

Walked down the brook to the river then along to Shillingford, up to Warborough and back across the "prairie".  My first Goosander of the year but not much else on the river, a few Tufted Ducks and a Great Crested Grebe.  On the field alongside the Benson to Shillingford road about 30 Lapwing and 6 Golden Plover.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Cold Ewelme and very little water

Friday 3 february 2012
A rapid visit to top up the feeders revealed a female Blackcap, a Water rail and a Green Sandpiper - but still no Snipe!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Always a surprise

Wednesday 1 February 2012
With a bitterly cold early morning I had high hopes of a Snipe or two at Ewelme but, instead, a female Teal sunning itself.  Last winter a male spent some time with us and I wonder how long this will be around.  It didn't appear all that healthy and at one time was chased by a Magpie, which seemed slightly odd.